Monday, February 27, 2012

Testimony of Pennsylvania Clean Air's Gillian Norris-Szanto at EPA/NHTSA Clean Car Hearing in Philly

Car Exhausts Threaten Health of Children
My statement is brief. Particulates in the exhaust produced by passenger cars, medium-duty passenger vehicles, and light-duty trucks are a major cause of smog and air-borne pollution, particularly in cities. Children are more affected by breathing smog-polluted air than adults because of their smaller body size; and being shorter than adults, they breathe city air at exhaust-pipe level. Poor outdoor air conditions cause or exacerbate respiratory diseases, including asthma. An estimated 25% of children in Philadelphia have asthma, and the number of cases appears to be increasing. It is so obviously unfair to expose children to crippling, chronic respiratory illnesses that I can only ask, “What has happened to our sense of fairness and our compassion toward children, not to mention the others, such as the elderly, who are also vulnerable to respiratory disease? What happens to a society when it ceases to care enough about the health and future of all its children? “

Improving Fuel Efficiency Is Important Step 

Further reducing greenhouse gas emissions through standards that improve the efficiency of the U.S. light-duty vehicles in question will be one step toward reducing disease-causing pollutants. I applaud the EPA’s and the NHTSA’s work to further improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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